Chinese-American chef, cookery writer and TV presenter, who is widely regarded as one the world’s greatest authorities on oriental cooking. In 2009, he was awarded with an honourary Order of the British Empire (OBE) for ‘services to culinary arts’. He has authored several cookery books, such as My Stir-fried life and Foolproof Asian Cookery.
Q: You’ve been in the television industry for three decades. What are your thoughts about the new wave of cookery programmes?
Quite amusing, frankly. When I was presenting television cookery programmes, it was mainly about teaching: techniques, how-to and the history behind each dish. It was NOT about entertainment!
Q: You said in another interview that the availability of ingredients has improved over the years. How did you cope with lack of ingredient availability in the early days?
Quite difficult. I had to provide substitutes for each ingredient or sauce, as a few were available. That is never the problem today.
Q: What is the one ingredient you cannot imagine cooking without?
Probably premium oyster sauce.
Q: If you had to, what advice would you give to your younger self from when you first started your career?
Always to be true to yourself.